In a 2018 TED Talk, Gregg Deal described his work as “honoring Indigenous experiences, challenging stereotypes, and pushing for accurate representations of Indigenous people in art.” It is in these "disruptions" of stereotypes and ahistorical representations in which Deal’s voice as an artist is unmistakable. Gregg Deal has exhibited his work at notable institutions around the world including The Smithsonian Institution, the Denver Art Museum, the RedLine Gallery, the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art and many more.
Deal is a multi-disciplinary artist working in a wide array of mediums. His work includes performance art, murals, spoken word, graphic design, filmmaking, installations, painting and music. In each, Deal continues the theme of challenging Western perceptions of Indigenous people. In his current Textile Series, Deal explores how basket weaving patterns that have existed amongst his people for thousands of years find meaning in a contemporary context, perhaps seeking answers to how ancient traditions fit in a modern world.
Deal’s stature in the modern art world has seen a big rise in recent years, as large as the award-winning mural of his daughter Sage that stands 80 feet tall in downtown Colorado Springs. Additional murals have popped up across country, with many in Denver, Colorado, three found in Boulder, Colorado, Baltimore, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Virginia and several in Washington D.C. In December 2018, a photograph of Deal was included in the National Geographic Society Magazine article “Native Americans are Recasting Views of Indigenous Life.” Deal was Native Arts Artist-in-Residence at the Denver Art Museum in 2015 and 2017, Artist-In-Residence at UC Berkeley in 2017-2018 and a mentor Resident Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2021. His art has been exhibited nationally since 2002. Deal has lectured widely at prominent educational institutions and museums, including the Denver Art Museum, Dartmouth College Columbia University and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. His television appearances include PBS’s The Art District, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Totally Biased with Kamau Bell and an upcoming show on HBO.
Gregg Deal is a Pyramid Lake Paiute, the tribe that derives its name from the lake of the same name found in northwest Nevada. He was born in 1975 and raised in Park City, Utah. Gregg and his wife, Megan, met in Provo, Utah in 1998. The following year they moved to Virginia where they were married and Gregg enrolled in George Mason University to study art with a concentration in painting. Deal resided in Washington D.C. for 17 years, at which point he was invited to a residency at the Denver Art Museum. Colorado became home in 2015. Deal says, “It reminds me of where I grew up but it's on the other side of the Rockies. The culture is different and frankly, a little bit more open. I feel like I belong here.” Together, Gregg and his wife Megan have five children. They currently reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Deal’s art will always be inspired by his Indigenous identity. Much of his work is about taking a risk, of infusing his roots into art that is either strikingly or subtly political and forcing his viewers to contemplate how the Indigenous people of this country fit into modern American society. Deal is unapologetic in his approach. It has landed him critical acclaim, museum credits, banned artwork, and an unmistakable, disruptive voice in the world. He says, “I am informed by my upbringing, my cultural ties to my tribal community and my place now. While Indigenous, I have a strong tie to the fact that I am a contemporary artist and wrestle with what a contemporary artist informed by his own indigeniety looks like, having arrived in this specific place and time. This is driven by historical consideration, and even social and political movements that specifically affect my community and family.”